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The Legendary Legacy: Unveiling the Timeless Charm of Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Oklahoma’s Oldest and Most Revered Dining Establishment


Nestled in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Stockyards CityCattlemen’s Steakhouse stands as a testament to the rich history and unwavering spirit of the American West.

With its doors first opening in 1910, this iconic establishment has stood the test of time, becoming the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Oklahoma.

From cowboys and ranchers to movie stars and presidents, Cattlemen’s has welcomed an eclectic array of patrons, earning its rightful place as a revered institution in the state’s culinary landscape.

Join us on a journey through history as we uncover the remarkable story of Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, where tradition, flavor, and hospitality converge.

A Slice of Western Heritage

In the early 20th century, Oklahoma City’s Stockyards City buzzed with activity as cattle herds journeyed from the vast plains to satisfy the growing demand for beef in the East. It was against this backdrop that Cattlemen’s Cafe emerged in 1910, offering a haven for hungry cowboys, ranchers, and cattle haulers.

Located in what soon became known as “Packing Town,” Cattlemen’s was a beacon of warmth and nourishment in a bustling era. Even back then, the restaurant attracted a vibrant clientele and remained open long after sundown, making it a favorite gathering spot for those seeking both hearty meals and the company of like-minded individuals.

The Torchbearer

In 1926, H.V. ‘Homer’ Paul assumed the reins of Cattlemen’s, breathing new life into an already beloved establishment. Under Paul’s guidance, the restaurant flourished and gained a reputation for its vibrant atmosphere and its signature “liquid delights” during the Prohibition era.

However, it was in 1945 that a fateful dice game changed the course of Cattlemen’s history forever. Hank Frey, then owner of the steakhouse, wagered his establishment against the opportunity for Gene Wade to roll a ‘hard six.’

Against all odds, Wade emerged victorious, stepping into the realm of restaurateurs and preserving the legacy of Cattlemen’s. The iconic ’33’ brand proudly adorning the walls of the Hereford Room symbolizes Wade’s remarkable stroke of luck and enduring success.

Evolution and Endurance

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse stands as a living testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and perseverance of Gene Wade. Starting from a humble cafe on the north side, Wade gradually expanded the restaurant southward, inch by inch, until the building reached its limits.

The South Dining Room and the Hereford Room emerged as distinguished spaces, providing a touch of elegance to complement the mouthwatering steaks that have become the cornerstone of Cattlemen’s culinary offerings.

The rustic charm of the venue, evident in the original ceiling beams, seamlessly blends with the nostalgic ambiance, transporting guests back to a bygone era of Western hospitality.

Where Legends Dine

Over the decades, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse has transcended its local roots and become a favored destination for a diverse array of patrons, including renowned personalities from the realms of entertainment, politics, and sports.

The walls of the dining rooms bear witness to the countless luminaries who have savored Cattlemen’s fare. From the likes of Gene Autry and John Wayne to Ronald Reagan and Reba McEntire, the restaurant’s legacy has attracted icons from various walks of life.

Even former President George Bush graced Cattlemen’s with his presence, further solidifying its status as a cherished institution.

As we conclude our exploration of Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, we are left in awe of its rich heritage, unwavering commitment to quality, and its ability to capture the essence of the American West.

For over a century, this iconic establishment has been a cornerstone of Oklahoma City’s culinary scene, serving up delectable steaks while preserving the spirit of its humble origins.

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse stands as a living testament to the power of tradition, community, and the enduring appeal of an exceptional dining experience. To dine at Cattlemen’s is to immerse oneself in the storied past of the American frontier, all while indulging in the unparalleled flavors that have made it a legendary destination for generations.


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